Just 12 months ago veteran soul entrepreneur Preston Glass, in conjunction with soul’s music’s number one man about town, David Nathan, offered us his ‘LOVE & COMPASSION’ album – a various artists long player that Preston and David hoped would bring some love and compassion back into a world that really, really needs it right now! (Brexit anybody?).
A year later, the pair have just released a second volume and like the first, the album brings together some big names cheek by jowl with a selection of unknowns and soul wannabbes. I guess the biggest name in the line up here is Lamont Dozier. His offering is the aspirational ‘Keep Climbing’ and, sadly, I have to say it’s a disappointment… an unfocused ramble and a far cry from his glory days. Other “big names” on the album number Chubby Tavares, Larry Graham and Evelyn Champagne King and sadly, they seem to be past their sell by date. Whether it’s the songs or the performances, I’m not sure… nothing hits the spot.
Better are the offerings from the Stylistics and the pairing of Phi Perry and Melba Moore. Not sure which “Stylistics” these are ( there are a number of groups with the name on the circuit) but here their ‘Change Is Good Sometime’ harks back to their best days while ‘Survival Kit’ which pairs Phil Perry with Melba Moore is this album’s highlight.
Sadly there’s not too much else to recommend this album. Best of the rest is ‘One Friend’ from Angel Rose which aspires to a Burt Bacharach flavour without quite getting there. Much of this album seems to be little more than a vanity project, typified by ‘Ask Somebody’ from Pharaoh’s Dream with assistance from the aforementioned David Nathan. The track only proves that Dave is a much better soul scribe than a soul singer!